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Our clients know that we won't buy hand signed Keith Haring posters unless the provenance is impeccable. This is one of them. This poster, designed by Haring to publicize the Japanese film "Hiroshima" was sent, along with the poster Haring designed for the American Music Festival, by Haring to Patrick Eddington (more on Mr. Eddington in a bit), and even included the original postmarked tube that Haring sent (in Keith's own hand, which we know well from his correspondence) from Haring's home address on Broadway in Manhattan, addressed to Patrick Eddington in Utah. From the same collection, we also acquired (catalogued separately) another signed poster Haring sent to Eddington, and both of these posters are accompanied by handwritten letters from Haring to Mr. Eddington in response to a query he sent Haring. One of the letters is accompanied by a Shafrazi Gallery envelope - so provenance is fully established and irrefutable. (Please refer to the Haring correspondence that accompanies this poster, catalogued separately in the exhibition). So who was Patrick Eddington of Utah, and why did Keith Haring send him two signed and remarked posters along with a handwritten note, some stickers and a handwritten letter? Patrick Eddington was a Utah school teacher who had the improbable idea of writing to his favorite artists and asking them to draw or paint pictures of cats. “This project is a labor of love," Eddington wrote of his endeavor in a 2004 letter. “It will culminate as a large book and traveling exhibition. It will also help Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. I’ve asked individuals I admire to create cat-related works. They are not the typical cat images but creative works.” One of the artists Eddington approached was the graffiti/street icon Keith Haring, with whom he engaged in communications about an even larger project as well - a mural, that alas, never came to fruition. Patrick Eddington passed away in early 2016, and his vision was, unfortunately, never realized. Nonetheless, artists like Keith Haring, William T. Wiley, Roy de Forest, Kiki Smith, Marcel Dzama and many others were inspired by the earnestness and quixotic nature of Eddington's endeavor, and sent him drawings, paintings, prints, doodles, letters and posters, like this one, which were then sold after his death.
Series: Patrick Eddington Cat Project
Signature: Signed boldly in black marker and dated 88 above the Japanese text at the bottom.
This poster was given to Patrick Eddington by Keith Haring, and was acquired by his from the Estate of Patrick Eddington
Bridging the gap between the art world and the street, Keith Haring rose to prominence in the early 1980s with his graffiti drawings made in the subways and on the sidewalks of New York City. Combining the appeal of cartoons with the raw energy of Art Brut artists like Jean DuBuffet, Haring developed a distinct pop-graffiti aesthetic centered on fluid, bold outlines against a dense, rhythmic overspread of imagery like that of babies, barking dogs, flying saucers, hearts, and Mickey Mouse. In his subway drawings and murals, Haring explored themes of exploitation, subjugation, drug abuse, and rising fears of nuclear holocaust, which became increasingly apocalyptic after his AIDS diagnosis. Alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf, and Jenny Holzer, Haring is regarded as a leading figure in New York East Village Art scene in the 1970s and '80s.
American, 1958-1990, Reading, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York
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